This really could be the season for a record goal scorer in the Premiership. You have to go back 93/94 and 94/95 to find the highest Premiership tallies. Andy Cole won the Golden boot in 1994 with 34 goals for Newcastle United. It was then equaled the following year by Alan Shearer with 34 goals for Blackburn Rovers.
Since then the award has been issued for far less, in fact the lowest winning tally was Dion Dublin with 18, for Coventry City, in the 97/98 season. Cristiano Ronaldo came close in 2007/2008 scoring 31 goals for Manchester United but the record is still eluding our present day goal scoring geniuses.
However, it seems as though this season’s crop of Premiership hot shots have certainly found their shooting boots with five players in contention for the coveted honour already after just 9 games. So could this be the season for a record golden boot award? If the goals keep coming, the budding stattos will think Christmas has come early.
After their poorest league start for as long as anyone cares to remember, Arsenal have found themselves a little bit of form arguably through the goals of the Premierships most popular striker Robin Van Persie. He has already notched up 10 quite outstanding goals, not only to stamp his dominance on the league but providing a much needed lift for his struggling team mates. The Arsenal captain is leading his team in exactly the way Wenger will have wanted and is a sure fire bet for the golden boot so long as he can stay fit and put his niggling injuries behind him.
Hovering just behind the Dutch international, the Premiership’s newest stars Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero are making sure they stay in contention with 9 goals a piece. It’s clear to see that Manchester City’s strike partnership is the most successful one in the Premiership given City’s hold of the top of the league. Despite manager Roberto Mancini’s necessary rotation of his elite abundance of stars, the little Italian is due a much needed pat on the back for bringing out the best in his new signings so early on in their Premiership careers. And although fellow striker Mario Balotelli has not scored as many with 5, the temperamental striker seems quite happy with his role supporting Dzeko and Aguero. Credit where credit is due Mr. Mancini.
Wayne Rooney is up there too with 9 goals. Rooney appears to be working hard this season to become a more well-rounded player establishing himself in the United setup as one of the more senior members. Apart from the mauling of Arsenal in which Rooney played a significant part, the England striker has quietly gone about his business, scoring the necessary goals and enjoying taking a back seat form the limelight for a change. Plenty of other players are attracting the attention allowing Rooney to just get on with his job. An outside bet for top goal scorer? You can never rule out Wayne.
And finally the most surprise entry for top goal scorer this season is Newcastle’s Demba Ba. Rejected by Stoke City after his release from West Ham, Newcastle gave this talented individual another chance at the big time and boy has he taken it. Notching up 8 goals already, the striker is helping his team along an elusive unbeaten run that is putting the Geordie beer industry under immense pressure. The freebie from the battered Ham has gone from strength to strength recently scoring a timely hat-trick against the team that chose a giraffe to lead their attack instead. Ba is definitely worth a punt for the golden boot and from this list he stands out as the one most people would probably like to see grab the crown.
In my opinion the record is well on course to be smashed this season by at least one of these contenders. With the Premiership becoming a far more attacking league and our defenses almost certainly being at their worst for many years we can only expect to see plenty more goals, goals, goals. Brilliant for the neutral fan, not for the goalkeepers. Today’s teams are not a touch on the early 90s when it comes to defending with more and more goals being scored each weekend. Is this a measure of the quality of modern defensive players or is it simply a coaching issue? Either way, 2012 will be the year of the record goal scorer for sure.